Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira appoints Antonio Baena as new Managing Partner of the London office

June 26, 2013

Antonio Baena, new Managing Partner of the London office
Antonio Baena, new Managing Partner of the London office

Mr. Baena, a Corporate partner, moves to the City to strengthen mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance

 

The Iberian law firm is reinforcing its position in Continental Europe, is furthering its strategy in Latin America and increasing its presence in China

 

Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira has appointed Antonio Baena as new managing partner of the London office. After developing his career in Corporate Madrid, Mr. Baena is now taking the reins of the City office, together with associate Ignacio Buil, who has been working until now in the Corporate Finance practice in Madrid. Mr. Baena takes over from Iñigo Rubio, managing partner of the London office from 2010 to 2013, who will now return to calle Almagro, 9.

 

“With our established presence in the City, our knowledge of the Spanish market and our international relationships, there are important opportunities for Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira in London. I am looking forward to entering this new stage of my career and contributing to the growth of our international practice, which is a vital part of our firm's global strategy,” underlines the new managing partner of the London office.

 

Antonio Baena has completed postgraduate studies at Harvard, the London School of Economics and the College of Europe. He worked in London and New York before joining Cuatrecasas and has extensive experience in the securities market, corporate advice and the purchase and sale of businesses. He has been involved in the design and execution of tender offers, initial public offerings and secondary public offerings. He also has experience in private equity and corporate finance. Recently he was one of the legal advisers of the Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (FROB) and the Company Managing the Assets derived from the Banking Restructuring (SAREB) in its design, implementation and consolidation, and in the transfer to it of real estate and receivables from various nationalized financial institutions.

 

This new phase for Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira in London is aimed at advising international clients and investors on their plans to enter the Iberian market. After several years of a slowdown in investments, we are beginning to see signs of economic recovery. That is why special emphasis will be placed on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance transactions.

 

 

From London to Europe

 

Beyond the change in London, Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira remains firmly committed to strengthening its position in Continental Europe. The Iberian law firm has joined forces with leading European firms forging a best friends network with Chiomenti (Italy), Gide Loyrette Nouel (France) and Gleiss Lutz (Germany). “France, Germany and Italy are, together with the Iberian Peninsula, the largest legal markets in Europe. And an Iberian law firm cannot aspire to anything greater than having a German practice such as Gleiss's, an Italian practice such as Chiomenti's or a French practice such as Gide's. We're not talking about a merger, but we have been working for some time on integrating the professional teams functionally so that we are seen as one firm in the eyes of our clients,” explains Javier Villasante, who coordinates the International Practice at Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira.

 

 

From Europe to the world

 

The key to Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira's international strategy is its expertise in the legal practices and in the most important regions and countries worldwide for its clients in their crossborder processes. A few years ago, the Iberian law firm introduced an ambitious coordination and organization plan for its partners' international practice, known as “Country Groups, comprising partners from several professional practices who, in addition to their domestic practice, have been specializing for years in a specific country or global region. “We put the client's interest first. Our partners add value through their in-depth knowledge of the legal environment in which the client wishes to operate and through our ability to form teams integrated with the local practice suitable for each individual case,” explains Mr. Villasante.

 

The firm’s strategy is to strengthen relationships with suitable firms in places where the client needs advice, particularly Latin America, before opening new offices in that area: “As in Continental Europe, Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira has created institutional relationships with the most outstanding firms in the most significant legal markets in Latin America. They are not exclusive because, by knowing the firms well, we always choose to work with the one that is best placed to satisfy the client's needs in each project. That is our strategy,” adds Mr. Villasante.

 

However, Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira aims to take advantage of new opportunities in other strategic regions for providing future legal advice. For instance, the firm is looking to strengthen its presence in China, adding a second corporate practice partner to respond to the growing needs of Spanish clients investing in China. The Shanghai office, led by Omar Puertas, has had for several years an active practice in corporate, tax, litigation and arbitration areas. It is a strategic market in which the firm seeks synergies with its European partners (indeed, between them all they have nearly eighty lawyers in China), and from which they are trying to capture investment for the Iberian Peninsula and other places where the firm is significantly represented, such as Latin America, North Africa and Portuguese-speaking African countries, notably the Angola office.

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